150 Apartments

February 25, 2011

in Past Issues

Would you support the construction of 150 apartments on the former South Canberra Bowling Club/Brumbies ACT Rugby HQ site?

ACTPLA has proposed Draft Variation 307 to the Territory Plan to rezone Block 15 Section 42 Griffith, to allow construction of 150 one and two bedroom units on the site. This would be a change from RZ1 to RZ4 Medium Density Residential Zone allowing buildings up to 3 storeys with attics and basements. Any change to the Territory Plan should lead to improvements in the lifestyle of Canberrans, but this proposal has nothing to do with good planning.

The case for re-zoning from ‘Leisure and Accommodation’ to ‘Medium Density housing’ is flawed. Here are a few of points to illustrate this:

  • Part of the Block is prone to flooding and unsuitable for any housing – which is why it has never been zoned as a residential area.
  • RZ4 zoning breaches Government undertakings that multi unit residential development will be restricted to areas within 200–300 m of a commercial core or local centre.
  • The height and mass of the buildings in the proposed development would be out of scale with the surrounding dwellings.
  • The existing infrastructure of Griffith was never designed or intended to sustain such a high density of urban living.
  • It is not consistent with the 2004 Griffith Neighbourhood Plan, which states:

‘Whatever the change in the low-density (residential) character, established street trees and mature garden setting will remain.’

‘Maintain and enhance the existing street pattern by ensuring buildings relate to the street rather than detract from it (as a general strategy).

‘Maintain and enhance physical facilities for community-based activities’.

  • From 2004-2009 (ABS estimates) the population of Griffith has increased by an average of 1.7% per annum; it is not decreasing as stated by ACTPLA. There is no need for this type of development.
  • After Kingston, Griffith has the highest population density (1576 people/km2 in mid-2009) of all the suburbs in South Canberra. Making an ‘island’ of medium density housing in a parkland corridor from Manuka to Mugga Way significantly reduces the remaining open space available.
  • The traffic analysis for the proposal is defective. It concluded that the proposed development ‘will not have any significant adverse impact on the surrounding road network in terms of traffic efficiency or road safety’, in spite of the fact that when the surveys were carried out in October and December 2009 both Flinders Way and Austin Street were already overloaded at peak times.
  • There will be a loss of 46 trees and more grass will be turned to asphalt.
  • Block 15 is subject to a concessional lease, which was issued for the purpose of running a bowling club. Such concessional leases were issued in recognition of the community’s need for areas for sport, recreation and other various other community activities. That need has in no way been diminished.
  • With the plethora of new and planned apartments in Kingston and Griffith there are already plenty of options for everyone who requires medium density living in the area.


Where to send your comments
Full details of the proposal are available at: www.actpla.act.gov.au/territoryplan (via the link to Draft Variations to the Territory Plan.

Written comments on the Draft Variation are to be submitted by COB Tuesday 15 March 2011.

They should be addressed to Manager Development Policy Section, ACTPLA at GPO Box 1908, Canberra ACT 2601 or via Email to terrplan@act.gov.au

Contact details for Molonglo MLAs are:

All at: ACT Legislative Assembly, GPO Box 1020, Canberra, ACT 2601.

For more information contact GNCA.


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